Traits of Top Salespeople

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The 5 Basic Sales Strategies – part 4 of 5 – Defend

The 5 Basic Sales Strategies – part 4 of 5 – Defend

This is the fourth part of my series discussing the five basic sales strategies. To remind you of the list, they are:

  1. Frontal
  2. Flanking
  3. Fragment
  4. Defend
  5. Develop

Every sales manager and salesperson should be familiar with these strategies.

4. Defend

A defend strategy protects your position from the inevitable assault from your competitors. It almost goes without saying that you need to be a vendor to the company to apply this strategy. The company must be a customer and not a prospect.

To effectively use this strategy, the salesperson must develop high-level customer relationships. Even if the original purchase was transacted at lower levels, the salesperson must take steps to move higher in the organization. This is not something that can be accomplished at the last minute. The wise salesperson will immediately start increasing executive conversations. This should happen almost from the minute the first deal is closed.

Remind these executives and their subordinates of the benefits that they are receiving by using your product. This sets the stage for defending your position when the inevitable competitor tries to come in and eat your lunch.

Also, you must be aware of changing conditions (especially organizational changes) that would hurt you. Any executives that may be replaced may allow your offering to be discounted in favor of a competitor. By continuously building your value at all levels of the organization, you will protect yourself when change happens. An organizational change could introduce a competitor’s friend into a position of influence.

Gatherers are the most frequent user of this sales strategy. I explained in my book that a Gatherer that does an effective job of using the defend strategy can be almost impossible to unseat.

Farmers can use this strategy, but the reality is that a Farmer that executes this strategy is far more likely to be a Gatherer than a Farmer.

Hunters rarely use this strategy. Almost by definition, a Hunter is not spending time with existing customers. In the event, that a natural Hunter has some existing customers, they are likely acting more like a Gather, Farmer, or Trapper than a Hunter.

Trappers will use the defend strategy combined with another approach. They will defend their installed base as I describe above. Trappers will also aggressively use one of the other four strategies to grow their presence in the account.

If you don’t know what a Hunter, Gatherer, Farmer or Trapper is, you should read my book. You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Header Photo by johnhain (Pixabay)

This post is the fourth in a series of posts covering the five basic sales strategies. I cover the five basic sales strategies in these posts:

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